Olympics: Skateboarding & surfing among possible Tokyo 2020 sports – BBC News
Skateboarding, surfing, baseball/softball, sport climbing and karate have been recommended for inclusion at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The five new sports would take place over 18 events and include 474 more athletes.
Games hosts are being given a chance to bring in one or more sports popular in their country to boost ratings and attract greater sponsorship.
The International Olympic Committee will make a final decision next August.
Eight sports from a total of 26 federations were shortlisted, with bowling, squash and wushu missing out.
“This package of events represents both traditional and emerging, youth-focused events, all of which are popular both in Japan and internationally,” said a statement from the Tokyo 2020 organising committee.
International Surfing Association president Fernando Aguerre said: “Surfing embodies a cool, playful lifestyle that would add a completely new element to the programme, helping the Games reach new fans through live action and stunning broadcast opportunities.”
Baseball and softball, united under the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC),
return to the Olympics
for the first time since Asia last hosted the Summer Games, in Beijing in 2008.
The Professional Squash Association (PSA) remain hopeful of a reprieve by the IOC in August 2016.
“Through three previous failed attempts to gain inclusion into the Games we have addressed all the issues and concerns the IOC have had regarding the sport,” said PSA chief executive Alex Gough.
“It is difficult to accept that work will not lead to inclusion at the ultimate sporting event. We are buoyed by the strides the sport continues to take and we continue to work tirelessly to ensure the sport earns the global recognition it truly deserves.”
Combined bid of men’s baseball and women’s softball. Both sports hugely popular in Japan.
Says it has a total of 65 million people playing in more than 140 countries – the majority of whom are young children and teenagers.
“World-class venues throughout Japan. Adding baseball/softball would be a low-risk/high-reward option, for both genders and youth.”
Has never been contested at the Olympics. Judo, its fellow home-grown martial art, first joined in 1964, when Tokyo last hosted the Olympics, and was included from 1972 onwards.
Says the sport, whose participants are 35% female, deserves a chance after unsuccessful bids to be a part of London 2012 and Rio 2016.
“A sport with Japanese roots. Logistics of karate at an Olympic Games would appeal to the IOC as they would not need a specially-built venue and could take place over just three days.”
Street and park skateboarding has been included ahead of other roller sports including roller hockey, speed skating and artistic skating.
Under the tagline “Rolling to Tokyo” says it has submitted a flexible plan and claims to be the most popular youth sport.
“Proposed a five-year set of events – seminars, international cup, national and world championships, tours all throughout the country.”
Last year sport climbing was chosen by the IOC as a demonstration sport at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China.
Says climbing walls are present in more than 140 countries with 35 million climbers all around the world. Average age is 23 years old; 40% are under 20.
“An unforgettable spectacle – fresh, young sport capitalising on the urban/action trend.”
International Surfing Association hailed its short listing as a “milestone” as it looks to create new surf parks.
Points to technical advancements which can create artificial waves of up to two metres high at the push of a button, such as at the inland surf lagoon at Snowdonia in Wales.
“Surfing has inherently youthful values and a blend of high performance, style and digital connectivity.”